Billy Horschel is not one to hide his emotions. So when his birdie putt on the 18th hole clinched his first PGA Tour win Sunday at the Zurich Classic, the Florida Gator began a fist-pumping fest that ended in a tearful crouch and shoulder-heaving that demonstrated just how important that inaugural W was.
Horschel pulled his Ping cap over his eyes as his feelings washed over him.
“I let it go,” Horschel told PGATour.com after matching the course record with an 8-under 64 in the final round at TPC Louisiana.
Horschel, who rebounded from wrist surgery in 2010, has come close to this moment in the recent past. He tied for second when D.A. Points won the Shell Houston Open and followed that up with a T3 at the Valero Texas Open.
Sunday, the guy who Brian Murphy recalled once woofed at Rory McIlroy during a pressure-packed Walker Cup match, finally overcame his 108th-ranked final-round scoring average to make it into the winner’s circle -- which he pledged to do after earning his tour card at q-school last year.
“I've always felt I was good enough to win out here,” Horschel told reporters after sinking the 27-footer for the triumph. “I just felt I had to check every box.”
Horschel also gave notice that “Scary Billy” may be a regular on tour from now on. His Houston finish ensured Horschel’s card for next year, which, he said, allowed him to leave nothing out on the course.
“Last week was key to finish second and wrap up my card,” Horschel said earlier this month during the Texas Open about his play in Houston. “I told people, I said, ‘it's going to be a scary thing. It's going to be Scary Billy’ in the sense that my card's wrapped up and now I can play a little more free and a little more at ease. I haven't been in a position where my card's been wrapped up and I can just let it go and not have to worry about things.”